A marathon starts out as a ritual before your body goes into shock, followed by denial and isolation. Eating becomes a chore and as the pain increases, generally so does the walking. Blisters and swelling have you in tears at the thought of finishing the challenge that lies ahead. You near the finish and elation sets in, then finally renewal. As you round the final corner and see the finish line you pull yourself up straight and try not to limp. You hide the blood stains on your shirt and wipe the stale spit from your face. You’ll cross the finish line looking like a runner and not just any runner…a marathoner! Grateful that someone is there to place the finishers medallion around your neck as you don’t possess the energy to do it yourself, you fall into the arms of your loved ones and begin to plan your training for the next one! Then you return home to receive massages from your daughter/sister. Or so I was told...
Sunday, 17 June 2007
Monday, 11 June 2007
Monday bought some more rain but after riding in 3degree temperatures the day before the light shower didn’t seem to phase me. Over the final climb the group split and with the two favourites turning onto a side ride just 200metres from the finish (what the??) I managed to run third. I thoroughly enjoyed my pub meal that followed and catching up with my local boys who I really missed over my previous racing block. I now look forward to a few easy days relaxing at home before catching up on some study later in the week. Maybe I’ll invest some time into those cheap DVD’s I scored in China…!
Results: Gippsland 3 Day Tour, Victoria
Friday, 8 June 2007
We got LOST!! This place was huge and everything was dirt cheap. Needless to say we all ran out of money and were forced to borrow from Bill :) had we had more than an hour to shop god knows what excess costs we may have returned home with! I had a budget, which I blew, then my camera went dead during sightseeing on the way to the airport. On arrival we discovered that our flight to Sydney was scheduled for a stop-over in Melbourne, putting us Viccy's 7hours ahead of schedule. Berry and I spent the first part of the flight swapping bought underwear while Kate was picking up some handsome man ;) All seemed so perfect until Berry had pork on the plane again :(
Wednesday, 6 June 2007
The final break went with 30kms of the tour to race and with 5 Chinese up the road we knew it was dangerous. We got the order from Bel and combined with the Dutch we chased our hearts out. I was assigned a race radio for the day and we were informed of time gaps on the road. The break was bought back from 52sec to 19 in the final 10kms, but 17 was all we could allow before losing the yellow. As it turned out we were unaware that the break had split with Li Meifang finishing a further 21sec up the road. It was hard not to be disappointed, but as our first tour together we decided to be proud. We walked with two stage wins and the points! Now that’s inspiring :) After skipping on hand washing we attended our farewell dinner, more disgusting seafood platters. We didn’t care, there was plenty of alcohol and Bill had bought dessert!
Results: Tour of Chong Ming Island, Stage 4, Chongdong, 100kms
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
This was followed by presentation of champagne for Bel’s stage victory, GC and points. I visited Jess for the final time tonight as she will following on the road tomorrow in the team car. She seems a lot better and has been diagnosed with cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall balder). We are no longer one man down :)
Results: Tour of Chong Ming Island, Stage 3, Chongbei, 72.8 kms
Monday, 4 June 2007
The Dutch train began with 1km remaining and those who were lucky enough to escape the grasp of the Chinese found themselves on it. With 400mtrs to go I went in chase of the three girls ahead with Bel on my wheel. As the Dutchy threw her hands in the air to celebrate, Bel threw to the line taking the win. Berry was forced to watch on in her hospital bed as the doctors continue to change their mind and have now taken her off antibiotics resorting back to problems with her gall bladder! Will it ever end? The worst for her is not knowing.
Results: Tour of Chong Ming Island, Stage 2, Chongxi, 70.8 kms
Sunday, 3 June 2007
Skye-Lee, 10th and myself, 7th did the majority of the work as Kate had been involved in an early crash which resulted in a 9 minute time penalty! After a hard day at the office we returned home to complete the standard routine. Lunch, hand washing and a nap before journeying to the hospital to liven Berry’s spirits. I ran some errands for her that afternoon and returned in the evening so we could watch the criterium highlights together. She’s one tough cookie.
Results: Tour of Chong Ming Island, Stage 1, Renshou Yatong Criterium, 65.6kms
Saturday, 2 June 2007
Skye-Lee had chosen to skip on the hurt event and Berry was exhausted in hospital. Although not our best ever times, we were pleased with out efforts and grateful that Bel didn’t stop the clock ahead of me as she was the only one not decked out with bars and a rear disc! Jess spent the day in hospital undergoing some more tests in an attempt to find what is wrong. The doctors are leaning toward a problem with her gall bladder but are looking for a second opinion. We pray to god that she doesn’t have to undergo operations here in Chongming =(
Results: Tour of Chong Ming Island Time Trial, 20kms
Friday, 1 June 2007
After some efforts in the rain, returning to lunch and completing my arduous hand washing, I strolled down the street with Kate, Lou and Berry. My first buy was a bag at $8AU, followed by a cookie at the bakery (pictured), which was across the road from the cute little bike shop (pictured). Then, while Berry was discretely being called a prostitute by some shop owners I bought a (now lucky) piggy necklace (despite the fact I was born in the year of the Dragon).
Kate and I may prove a little unprepared for racing tomorrow due to consuming about 4 pieces of beef at our welcoming dinner. As the only two available females in the team we have been titled ‘the singles’ and seem to be struggling to adapt to the provided food. Instead, we made our way down the street to invest in 20cent ice-creams. The dinner was perfect for 'Team ADT' bonding, it may be our last chance with Berry. Berry is not adapting at all. After consuming some wrong looking pork on the plane she has been admitted to hospital and placed on an IV drip. Tests are being performed as we speak and I will endeavour to report back as soon as the doctors have diagnosed her. We all send our best wishes! =)